Bill Murchison

Horse feathers! Had Congress last year scrapped the rate reduction for over-$250,000 earners, the resultant gain to the Treasury for this fiscal year would have been $32 billion. That's assuming the intended victims sat still in order to be plucked rather than, as is far likelier, ferreting out new loopholes and exemptions.

The wealth of the wealthy is large, undoubtedly, but far smaller, in relative terms, than is often imagined. There is an old story about an agitator who supposedly went to see Andrew Carnegie, I think it was, demanding that Carnegie distribute his wealth to the poor. As the story goes, Carnegie, after listening, reached into his pocket, took out a quarter, handed it to the man and said, helpfully, "Here's yours."

Obsession with other people's money isn't humanity's only problem, but it's among the major ones blocking constructive overhaul of nearly all our financial assumptions. Why not just make the rich do everything? Saves time and elects Democrats -- a persuasive way of looking at things if you're a Democrat; at least until you've stamped out the ability to rise financially, pulling up others as you rise.

The price of prosperity is putting up with rich blowhards and showoffs -- does Donald Trump come to mind? -- so as to make room for the rich who start hospitals, finance museums and symphony orchestras and, yes, create jobs; all the things you rarely hear about from certain politicians. Why should they tell you such things? If they did, you wouldn't vote for them.

Bill Murchison

Bill Murchison is the former senior columns writer for The Dallas Morning News and author of There's More to Life Than Politics.
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